From the editor-in-chief's description of the issue:
You may have been King of the Mountain when you were a little kid. If you're one of our older readers, you may have been King of the Drive-In once upon a time. But not until now has anyone ever had the chance to be KING OF THE TABLETOP.
Our latest game offering, in the center of this magazine, is a mixture of things: a combat game, an economic game, and above all a prestige game. (You'll see what we mean.) It is brought to you by a mixture of people: Tom Wham, who has more game designs in his head than most people have in their houses; Rob Kuntz, known throughout the land for his work on Greyhawk articles and the DEITIES & DEMIGODS book; and Dave Trampier, author of Wormy, who will illustrate every counter sheet we publish from now on if I have anything to say about it.
We've heard from people who think the games we print would be fun, but they never play them because they don't want to "destroy" the magazine by pulling out the innards. Well, this is one time when anyone who feels that way should make an exception - it's a regally good game.
If the scene on the cover reminds you of something from your mind's eye, that means artist Jerry Eaton did his job to perfection. The painting is his interpretation, using the Players Handbook as a guide, of the appearance and effect of a magic-user's wall of fire spell. Although this is Jerry's first cover painting for us, his signature is also on some striking color illustrations done for fiction stories in earlier issues.
The next time anyone asks your AD&D character to play cards, you'd better find out exactly what he means before you look at your hand. Presented across lots of pages inside is an article on a 78-in-1 magic item, The Tarot of Many Things. Every campaign with characters who are gamblers at heart should have one (but only one) deck of Tarot cards, as described by author Michael Lowrey for incorporation into the AD&D game. Things may never be the same again...
Obviously, there are times when we can't exactly go to the source in preparing an article on "The Ecology of" something. But Roger Moore managed to get a friendly neighborhood dryad to talk about The Ecology of the Unicorn for this month's issue, and he got more than he bargained for.
Also inside is a somewhat unusual article - intended for non-gamers, as well as for all of you who usually buy this magazine. Frank Mentzer tells the story of the new, improved version of the D&D Basic and Expert Sets that are expected to attract even more people into the hobby of fantasy role-playing games. After you've read the article, lend it to some friends who don't play - and be sure to tell 'em who sent you. - KM